Wednesday, January 09, 2013

From Script To Screen: A Guide To The Deleted/Missing Scenes In ‘The Master'

I've been meaning to dig into this for quite some time and thanks to our friends at The Playlist, found a larger venue for this project which we're excited to finally unveil for you guys. From Script To Screen: Your Guide To All The Deleted/Missing Scenes In ‘The Master' is exactly what it sounds like, an overview of many differences between the screenplay and final film. In an effort to keep it at a manageable length, this is really just a primer for the many differences between the two versions and a perfect companion piece to Our Guide To The Deleted Scenes From 'The Master' Teasers & Trailers. The Weinstein Company recently posted the WGA nominated screenplay on their website so this seemed like as good a time as any to dive in. I had refrained from reading the screenplay until after seeing the film but when I finally did, found it fascinating to see how "The Master" evolved from the version on the page.  

Joaquin Phoenix described PTA's process back in September, "Paul will write many, many scenes that won’t make it into the movie," saying that PTA doesn't worry about continuity, is open to improvisation and often scenes that might take up one-eighth of a page can shoot for a day and a half. Though we already noted how much of the footage from the teasers & trailers didn’t make it into the final film -- an intentional move by PTA and editor Leslie Jones to give of the flavor of the film without actually spoiling it -- the screenplay also takes significant detours from the final film with entire deleted sequences, subplots and dialogue that radically alter the DNA of the piece. While some moments in the screenplay now seem extraneous, by excising certain scenes PTA has changed the nature of various relationships between the characters and obscured certain aspects of the story that were made clearer in the text as you’ll see below. It should go without saying but this contains major spoilers and should only be read after you've seen the film.

Read it here.

Have you read the screenplay? Which deleted scene would you most like to have seen included in the film? Sound off in the comments.

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  1. I just revisited the Vulture article on Paul's 2008 play with Maya and Fred Armisen and think there's a couple of interesting facts that have come with time.

    First, I didn't see it since I live mere thousands of miles away but, I can see from what the journalist says, links between the play and The Master.

    First off, the "interrogation" vignette: Armisen: "Do you often have emotional outbursts without thinking them through?" Rudolph: "What kind of fucking question is that?"

    And second: the explicit sexual connotations: Rudolph: "When I was little, I used to put Snoopy between my legs and just hump him so hard. I humped him and humped him until his nose broke off."

    Both the atmosphere and vocabulary on the first and the subject matter and how it was handled in the second seem very much in sync with what would become of The Master.

    Does anyone think the same?

    Thanks, love the site.

    1. That is quite an astute observation, Fran. I remember this play, but had not drawn any parallels to it. Thanks for bringing this up!

  2. Does anyone know where to find a copy or even an excerpt of this play to read? I spent quite a few hours looking online this past summer and had no luck whatsoever.

    Thanks, and happy cigsandredvining.

  3. I still would've loved to've seen Joaquin detox from booze in the desert while digging up the Split Saber on his own. It would've given a physical manifestation of Freddie's final transformation out of his "hole" and into the "Cause". As it is, we're given to believe that he quits boozing maybe temporarily, for only the length of Masters' exercise until right after he bikes off into the desert or visits Doris' mother.

    The film doesn't focus on Freddie's alcoholism as much as the screenplay had which sees Freddie white-knuckle through violent alcohol withdrawals out of sheer will power (a testament to his dedication to the Cause) into sobriety and, after ultimately rejecting The Cause, getting so roaring drunk in the movie-theater that he stumbles and falls off the balcony.

    As it is, it's kind of vague, there's no clear distinction between when Freddie's drunk or when he's sober, he's just as violent in either state. And since there's no real benefit to him living the "straight life" under Masters' wing it's not tragic to see him sink back into his drunken patterns.

  4. The screenplay put online by the Weinstein company is identical to the screenplay that was leaked and reviewed in 2010. Where is the "heavily rewritten" shooting script.

    I liked Freddie detoxing in pheonix, Val being an adversary, the cousin Bob adventure was great too.

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